Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saskatchewan wildfires could burn until fall

CBC News: The fires burning in northern Saskatchewan could burn until the first snowfall, according to researchers. Kerry Anderson, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, said the weather pattern known as El Nino, which is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America, is responsible.

He expects weather conditions will settle down in Saskatchewan in the coming weeks, but warmer than normal temperatures will likely persist in B.C. and Alberta. Anderson said even if crews bring the Saskatchewan fires under control, they may not actually be out until the fall. "The large fires that are burning there will continue to burn until they are contained or until a fire-ending event may occur, and that may just end up being the first snowfall."

Fire rages near Mark Paquette's cabin on Nemeiben Lake. Late on July 8, 2015, Paquette said his cabin had been spared. (Submitted by Mark Paquette) Wildfire expert Mike Flannigan said tinderbox conditions that have lead to the destructive fires in the West can be blamed on climate change.

"Our weather this year has been very hot, dry and windy," said the University of Alberta professor. "This is consistent with what we expect with climate change. I'm not saying every year is going to be a bad fire year, but we are going to see a lot more fire on the landscape."...

An aerial view of a fire in Saskatchewan from 2009, shot by White White, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license 

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